NEW VIDEO: Tea Party Values, the Civil War and Race in Raleigh, NC

NOTE: Listen to Annabel Park & Eric Byler talk about this video on Coffee Party Radio

Annabel Park recently spoke to Diane Rufino, leader of the Eastern North Carolina Tea Party, at the "Honor the Oath" rally at the State Capitol in Raleigh.

Diane had drawn applause during her speech when she praised North Carolina's role during the Civil War, yet, she said that Rev. Dr. William Barber is wrong to remind us of historic struggles for racial equality in order to counter the TEA Party, and address modern day injustices. "Time to move on," she said.

Diane is eager to change the perception that the TEA Party and Republican party are dominated by white men. In her interview, she explained that catch phrases like "take our country back" do not imply going back to a time before the Civil Rights movement. Instead, she argued, TEA Party members and other conservatives want to go back to a time when there were "parameters." 

"When was that?" Annabel asked. Diane's fascinating answer provides a window into the complexity and agony of TEA Party conservatives struggling to respond to changes in America.

After the interview, Annabel remarked that she really appreciated Diane's openness and willingness to engage her in dialogue. "Despite whatever differences we may have, I respect her strength and her spirit of engagement. I think it's critical to open up dialogue like this to heal America's divide."

Diane has blogged that her support for secession from the Union in response to Barack Obama's election has divided her home. "Even after hours of discussion and debate," she says of her husband, "he still believes that Lincoln was justified in invading the South. ...I guess you can say that we have a House divided at home now."

There is an epic political battle going on in North Carolina for the future direction of the state. What unfolds in this battleground state in the next year just may shape the story of America for years to come.

Often mentioned during a recent radio show about the video above: Glen Bradley, the organizer of the Honor the Oath rally, and a former State Representative in North Carolina:

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Read Nicole Maron's response to this video.

Stay tuned for more video from the "Honor the Oath" rally, plus footage from "HK on J," a People's Assembly at the NC State Capitol led by Rev. Dr. William Barber.


Showing 8 reactions


commented 2013-12-29 02:19:00 -0500
Thank you
commented 2013-02-20 01:47:17 -0500
So few here know much history of the 50’s and 60’s. The original civil rights bill actually was passed in 1957 by Republicans. The 1965 civil rights bill was also passed by a majority of Republicans, with a majority of Democrats opposing it. The only reason why some democrats supported the ’65 bill, was that it included many extra laws that went beyond constitutional powers into regulating private industry.

I can tell you why blacks ended up supporting democrats in mass after the 50’s. It’s called welfare, that really got pushed hard by democrats in the 60’s as a part of the war on poverty. Blacks got hooked onto welfare, and democrats saw this as a way to gain political power with them dependent on such programs. Welfare took what was stronger families among blacks than whites, and have now pushed blacks into a 75% illegitimate rate. It is democrats and their welfare policies that have brought about such problems, including large black gangs, which substitute a gang family for no family at home.

Of the blacks who do excel, who educate themselves into high paying positions or their own companies from the ground up, they see the hollow promises of the democrats, and end up finding a home in the republican party. Many of such examples are called horrible racial names by democrats. I could see such behavior during the 50’s and 60’s among southern democrats, but this has been going on for the last several decades in the democrat party. Yet republicans are the ones called racist? Really?

The truth is republicans offer freedom and liberty, with no guarantee of success, while democrats offer servitude and slavery, under the guise of offering security. If you don’t believe me, then why is it every democrat program is mandatory? If democrat programs and unions are such a good thing, wouldn’t people be flocking to them voluntarily?
commented 2013-02-19 18:58:06 -0500
To be white in this country in the 50’s and 60’s was just about as good as it gets. Gender roles were unquestioned; unions were strong; and the growth in the economy was being shared with a growing middle class. And apparently everyone was participating because the only part of society that was being presented to the American public was what was on TV (Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Dick Van Dyke, etc). But there were parts of society that were being left out (… like if you weren’t white, or questioned gender roles, or questioned your sexual identity, or questioned authority…). But in the 50s and 60s there was no visual expression of any of the disenfranchised portions of our society.

I think the information age really started with the video brought back from the Viet Nam War. All of a sudden, there was visual expression of undeniably bad stuff. And once the dam broke, there were countless visualizations of bad things (civil rights abuses, watergate, pollution, etc). And as the technology for visualization has progressed, more and more (both troubling as well as amazing) information has become available; to a point where it is truly overwhelming.

I think the woman in the video is simply yearning for that simpler time when she simply did not know (and there was no one telling her that she did not know…). Unfortunately, there is no way for us to put that cat back into a bag where we all can no longer see it. And there are growing numbers of people that wouldn’t want to if we could. A conflict between those that don’t want to know, and those that are no longer willing to be denied is inevitable. But, I believe the work Annabel and Eric are doing to create visualizations of these clashing worldviews is helpful as part of the process to eventually get us through it.

In the meantime, keep in mind that a large number of people in the United States lie to their children about how Santa Claus makes Christmas wonderful. And then, when the parents are finally caught in the silly lie, their credibility does not get compromised. It’s really crazy if you stop to think about it. Maybe, the thing we need to learn from this is how unimportant facts are when we’re thinking about how something makes us feel.
commented 2013-02-19 14:16:29 -0500
The tea party is composed of white men and women. They want to return the country to the 18th century. Tea party is funded by the Koch brothers who want America to work their way or the highway. Nice people — not.
commented 2013-02-19 12:23:46 -0500
She says ‘The Civil War is past, it’s time to move on.’ But didn’t she start her speech using it as a rallying point?

I would like to hear the supporters describe how they are so oppressed or tyrannized? Taxes and maybe a gripe about the Affordable Care Act is my assumption. Intimidating children into praying in school is more freedom?
commented 2013-02-19 11:41:58 -0500
Her heart seems pure but a little mis guided, yes I agree about to much government in society being bad, but it was lack of proper oversight and Republican economic policies that has almost ruined this country. Not buying the rhetoric from the Koch funded Tea Party…
@StoryofAmerica tweeted this page. 2013-02-19 11:03:42 -0500
VIDEO: @annabelpark talks to NC #TeaParty leader about conservative values, the Civil War and #race. http://www.storyofamerica.org/diane?recruiter_id=2
Story of America posted about NEW VIDEO: Tea Party Values, the Civil War and Race in Raleigh, NC on Story of America's Facebook page 2013-02-19 11:03:40 -0500
VIDEO: @annabelpark talks to NC #TeaParty leader about conservative values, the Civil War and #race.